MINIATURIZED HIGHLY-EFFICIENT DESIGNS FOR NEAR-FIELD POWER TRANSFER SYSTEM

Near-field power transfer systems can include antenna elements that constructed or printed close to each other in a meandered arrangement, where neighboring antenna elements conduct currents that flow in opposite directions. This current flow entirely or almost entirely cancels out any far field RF radiation generated by the antennas or otherwise generated by the electromagnetic effects of the current flow. For a first current flowing in a first path, there may be a second current flowing in a second cancellation path, which cancels the far field radiation produced by the first current flowing in the first path. Therefore, there may be no radiation of power to the far field. Such cancellation, may not occur in a near-field active zone, where the transfer of power may occur between the transmitter and the receiver. A ground plane may block the leakage of power from the back of a transmitter and/or a receiver.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This non-provisional application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 62/374,578, filed Aug. 12, 2016 and entitled “Miniaturized Highly-Efficient Designs For Near-Field Power Transfer System,” which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

This non-provisional application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 15/046,348, filed Feb. 17, 2016 and entitled “Near Field Transmitters for Wireless Power Charging,” which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application 62/387,205, entitled “Near Field Transmitters for Wireless Power Charging,” filed Dec. 24, 2015, each of which is incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

This application relates generally to wireless power charging systems and more particularly to near-field radio frequency (RF) antennas for transmitting or receiving power.

BACKGROUND

Electronic devices, such as laptop computers, smartphones, portable gaming devices, tablets, or others, require power to operate. As generally understood, electronic devices are often charged at least once a day, or in high-use or power-hungry electronic devices, more than once a day. Such activity may be tedious and may present a burden to users. For example, a user may be required to carry chargers in case his electronic devices run out of power. In addition, some users have to find available power sources to connect to, which is inconvenient and time consuming. Lastly, some users must plug into a wall or some other power supply to be able to charge their electronic devices. Such activity may render electronic devices inoperable or not portable during charging.

Some conventional solutions include an inductive charging pad, which may employ magnetic induction or resonating coils. As understood in the art, such a solution still requires the electronic devices to: (i) be placed in a specific location on the inductive charging pad, and (ii) be particularly oriented for powering due to magnetic fields having a particular orientation. Furthermore, inductive charging units require large coils in both devices (i.e., the charger and the device being charged by the charger), which may not desirable due to size and cost, for example. Therefore, electronic devices may not sufficiently charge or may not receive a charge if not oriented properly on the inductive charging pad. And, users can be frustrated when an electronic device is not charged as expected after using a charging mat, thereby destroying the credibility of the charging mat.

Other solutions use far field RF wave transmission to create pockets of energy by constructive interference of RF waves at remote locations for charging a device. Such solutions, however, are better suited for particular uses and configurations as far field RF wave transmission solutions typically use numerous antenna arrays and circuitry for providing phase and amplitude control of the RF waves. Furthermore, far field antennas may not be efficient for near-field charging systems. Some antennas such as patch antennas have been used for near-field power transfer. However, the patch antennas also have low power transfer efficiency in near-field, particularly as the generated power may leak in all directions, rather than being concentrated in a particular area in near-field.

Therefore, there is a need in the art to address the above described drawbacks of far field antennas and near field antennas and construct near RF field antennas with high coupling efficiency.

SUMMARY

Systems disclosed herein address the aforementioned issues and may provide a number other benefits as well.

In one embodiment, a near-field radio frequency (RF) power transfer system, comprises: a first antenna element disposed on or below a first surface of a substrate and configured to carry a first current in a first direction during a first time period to generate a first RF radiation; a second antenna element disposed on or below the first surface of the substrate and configured to carry a second current in a second direction opposite to the first direction during the first time period to generate a second RF radiation such that the far-field portion of the second RF radiation cancels the far-field portion of the first RF radiation; and a ground plane disposed on or below a second surface of the substrate, wherein the second surface is opposite to the first surface.

In one embodiment, a method of near-field RF power transfer, the method comprises: supplying, through one or more vias through a ground plane, a first current to a first antenna element such that the first antenna generates a first RF radiation and a second current to a second antenna element such that the second antenna generates a second RF radiation, wherein the first current is in a first direction and the second current is in a second direction opposite to the first direction such that the far-field portion of the second RF radiation cancels the far field portion of the first RF radiation, wherein the first and second antenna elements are disposed on or below a first surface of a substrate, and wherein the ground plane is disposed on or below a second surface of the substrate opposite to the first surface and below the first and second antenna elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings constitute a part of this specification and illustrate embodiments of the subject matter disclosed herein.

FIGS. 1A and 1B are schematic illustrations of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIGS. 2A-2D are schematic illustrations of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIG. 3 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIG. 5 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIG. 8 is a schematic illustration of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

FIGS. 9A and 9B are schematic illustrations of an exemplary system, according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made to the illustrative embodiments illustrated in the drawings, and specific language will be used here to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the claims or this disclosure is thereby intended. Alterations and further modifications of the inventive features illustrated herein, and additional applications of the principles of the subject matter illustrated herein, which would occur to one skilled in the relevant art and having possession of this disclosure, are to be considered within the scope of the subject matter disclosed herein. The present disclosure is here described in detail with reference to embodiments illustrated in the drawings, which form a part here. Other embodiments may be used and/or other changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the present disclosure. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description are not meant to be limiting of the subject matter presented here.

Disclosed herein are various embodiments of power transmission systems with high power transfer efficiency in near-field, RF-based, power transfer coupling. Power transfer efficiency of a transmitter and a receiver in a power transfer system may be defined as percentage or ratio that relates the amount of power transmitted or produced by a transmitter and the amount of power collected by a receiver. Power transfer efficiency may depend upon the coupling of the transmitter and the receiver. If the transmitter and the receiver are well-coupled, most of the power transmitted by one or more transmit antennas of the transmitter is localized at one or more receive antennas of the receiver. On the other hand, if the transmitter and the receiver are not coupled well, relatively less power is localized at the receiver antennas, and the power is lost due to leakage in undesired directions. It is therefore desirable to have better-coupled power transmitters and receivers, wherein most of the electromagnetic power is trapped or otherwise localized between the transmitter and the receiver.

The embodiments of near-field power transfer systems described herein may include antenna elements that are constructed or printed close to each other in a meandered arrangement. In a meandered arrangement, neighboring antenna elements conduct currents that flow in opposite directions. This current flow entirely or almost entirely cancels out any far field RF radiation generated by the antennas or otherwise generated by the electromagnetic effects of the current flow. In other words, for a first current flowing in a first path, there may be a second current flowing in a second cancellation path that cancels the far field radiation produced by the first current flowing in the first path. Therefore, there may be no radiation of power to the far field. Such cancellation, however, may not occur in a near-field active zone, where the transfer of power may occur between the transmitter and the receiver. One having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that one or more solutions to Maxwell's equations for time-varying electric fields and magnetic fields generated by the currents flowing in opposite directions, will dictate that far-field electromagnetic radiation will be canceled and that near-field electromagnetic radiation will not be canceled when currents flow in opposite directions. One ordinarily skilled in the art should also appreciate that a near-field active zone is defined by the presence of electromagnetic power in the immediate vicinity, proximate or adjacent to, the power transfer system. One ordinarily skilled in the art will further appreciate the near-field/far-field distinction. For example, near-field may refer to the immediate vicinity of the antenna elements, and may also include the radiating near field (Fresnel) region, and far-field may refer to areas beyond the immediate vicinity of the antenna elements.

The embodiments of the near-field power transfer systems described herein may include a ground plane behind the antennas. For a near-field power transfer system functioning as a transmitter, the ground plane may not allow power to be transferred behind the transmit antennas of the power transfer system by, for example, acting as a reflector for the electromagnetic waves generated by the transmitter antennas. Similarly, for a near-field power transfer system functioning as a receiver, the ground plane may not allow the received electromagnetic waves to radiate from the back of the receiver. Therefore, having one or more ground planes may localize or trap the electromagnetic power in between the transmitter and the receiver by blocking the leakage of power from the back of the transmitter and/or the receiver.

The antennas may be constructed to be in different shapes such as monopoles, meandered monopoles, dipoles, meandered dipoles, spirals, loops, and concentric loops. The antennas may also be constructed in hybrid configurations such as spiral dipoles. Furthermore, there may be hierarchical antennas, for example, an antenna with a first spiral dipole at a first hierarchical level and a second spiral dipole at a second hierarchical level above the first hierarchical level. In some embodiments, a single ground plane may be provided at the lowest hierarchical level. In other embodiments, each hierarchical level may include a ground plane. The hybrid structures or the hierarchical structures may be required for wideband and/or multiband designs. For example, a non-hierarchical or non-hybrid structure may be highly efficient at a first frequency and at a first distance between the transmitter and the receiver, but may be inefficient other frequencies and distances. Incorporating more complex structure such as hybrids and hierarchies allows for higher efficiencies along a range of frequencies and distances.

In some embodiments, the transmit antenna and the corresponding receive antenna may have to be mirror images of or symmetric to each other. In other words, a receive antenna may have the same or roughly the same shape and/or size configuration as a corresponding transmit antenna. Such mirroring may ensure better coupling and therefore result in higher power transfer efficiency. However, in other embodiments, the transmit antennas and the receive antennas may not have to be symmetric to each other. Furthermore, for non-mirror pairings, the antennas disclosed herein may be paired with other antennas (e.g. patches, dipoles, slots); in these cases the near-field coupling efficiency may be still acceptable for certain applications. Different types of transmit antennas may be mixed and matched with different types of receive antennas.

As the frequency decreases and the wavelength increases, in conventional systems, the matching antennas may have to be made longer and longer. Embodiments of the near-field power transfer systems described herein may also provide miniaturized antennas. For example, in many conventional systems, a half wave-dipole antenna used to transmit and/or receive 900 MHz electromagnetic waves is typically 33.3 centimeters (cm) or roughly 1 foot (ft) from one end of the antenna to the other end of the antenna. But embodiments described herein may achieve such results using smaller form-factors. A meandered arrangement disclosed herein may allow the antennas to be folded or spiraled onto each other. A long antenna can therefore may be printed or constructed in a relatively smaller housing. For example, transmitters/receivers operating at very low frequencies, for example 400 MHz, may be miniaturized to antenna sizes from about 6 millimeter (mm) by 6 mm to about 14 mm by 14 mm. Furthermore, the near-field power transfer systems disclosed herein have significantly higher power transfer efficiencies compared to the transmitters and receivers known in the art.

The near-field power transfer systems disclosed herein may be used in electronic devices, such as mobile phones, wearables, and toys. For example, a first power transfer system may be a part of or associated with a transmitter embedded within a charging mat, and a second power transfer system may be a part of or associated with a receiver embedded within a mobile phone. When the mobile phone is placed in proximity to the charging mat, the transmitter may transfer power to the receiver. In some embodiments, the near-field power transfer systems may be used in conjunction with far field power transfer systems. For instance, a mobile phone may have both a near-field receiver and a far field receiver. When the mobile phone is placed on a charging mat having a near-field transmitter, the near-field receiver in the mobile phone may receive power from the near-field transmitter. When the mobile phone is taken off from the charging mat and placed on a different location, the far field receiver in the mobile phone may receive power from a far field transmitter.

FIG. 1A shows a top perspective view of a schematic drawing of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 100. FIG. 1B shows a bottom perspective view of a schematic drawing of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 100. The power transfer system 100 may comprise a top surface 101, a bottom surface 102, and sidewalls 103. In some embodiments, a housing containing components of the power transfer system 100 may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 101 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 103 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

The power transfer system 100 may radiate RF energy and thus transfer power when the power transfer system 100 is adjacent to a second power transfer system (not shown). As such, a power transfer system 100 may be on a “transmit side,” so as to function as a power transmitter, or the power transfer system 100 may be on a “receive side,” so as to function as a power receiver. In some embodiments, where the power transfer system 100 is associated with a transmitter, the power transfer system 100 (or subcomponents of the power transfer system 100) may be integrated into the transmitter device, or may be externally wired to the transmitter. Likewise, in some embodiments, where the power transfer system 100 is associated with a receiver, the power transfer system 100 (or subcomponents of the power transfer system 100) may be integrated into the receiver device, or may be externally wired to the receiver.

A substrate 107 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 101, sidewalls 103, and the bottom surface 102. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 100 may not include a housing and the substrate 107 may include the top surface 101, sidewalls 103, and the bottom surface 102. The substrate 107 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may generate radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 104 may be constructed on or below the top surface 101. When the power transfer system 100 is associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 104 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 100 is associated with a power receiver, the antenna 104 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 100 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 104 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 104 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, metamaterials and composites. For example, the antenna 104 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 104 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 100 shown in FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, the antenna 104 is constructed in a shape of a spiral including antenna segments 110 that are disposed close to each other. The currents flowing through the antenna segments 110 may be in opposite directions. For example, if the current in the antenna segment 110b is flowing from left to right of FIG. 1A, the current each of the antenna segments 110a, 110c may be flowing from right to left. The opposite flow of the current results in mutual cancellation of the electromagnetic radiation the far field of the power transfer system 100. In other words, the far field electromagnetic radiation generated by one or more antenna segments 110 left of an imaginary line 115 is cancelled out by the far field electromagnetic radiation generated by one or more antenna segments 110 right of the line 115. Therefore, there may be no leakage of power in the far field of the power transfer system 100. Such cancellation, however, may not occur in a near-field active zone of the power transfer system 100, where the transfer of power may occur.

The power transfer system 100 may include a ground plane 106 at or above the bottom surface 102. The ground plane 106 may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane 106 may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane 106 may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane 106 may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. A via 105 carrying a power feed line (not shown) to the antenna may pass through the ground plane 106. The power feed line may supply current to the antenna 104. In some embodiments, the ground plane 106 may be electrically connected to the antenna 104. In some embodiments, the ground plane 106 may not be electrically connected to the antenna 104. For such implementations, an insulation area 108 to insulate the via 105 from the ground plane 106 may be constructed between the via 105 and the ground plane 106. In some embodiments, the ground plane 106 may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 104. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 100 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 104 from or towards the top surface 101. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface 102.

Therefore, as a result of the antenna 104 and the ground plane 106, the electromagnetic waves transmitted or received by the power transfer system 100 accumulate in the near field of the system 100. The leakage to the far field of the system 100 is minimized.

FIG. 2A schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 200, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 200 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 200 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 200 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 201, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 203. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 201 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 203 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 207 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 201, sidewalls 203, and the bottom surface 202. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 200 may not include a housing and the substrate 207 may include the top surface 201, sidewalls 203, and the bottom surface 202. The substrate 207 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may generate radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 204 may be constructed on or below the top surface 201. When the power transfer system 200 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 204 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 200 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 204 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 200 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 204 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 204 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, metamaterials, and composites. For example, the antenna 204 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 204 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 200 shown in FIG. 2A the antenna 204 is constructed in a shape of a spiral including antenna segments which are disposed close to each other. A signal feed line (not shown) may be connected to the antenna 204 through a via 205.

FIG. 2B schematically illustrates a side view of the exemplary power transmission system 200. As shown, an upper metal layer may form the antenna 204, and a lower metal layer may form the ground plane 206. The substrate 207 may be disposed in between the upper and lower metal layer. The substrate 207 may include materials such as FR4, metamaterials, or any other materials known in the art. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may have to be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or generate radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

FIG. 2C schematically illustrates a top perspective view of antenna 204. The antenna 204 comprises a connection point 209 for a feed line (not shown) coming through the via 205. FIG. 2D schematically illustrates a side perspective view of the ground plane 206. In an embodiment, the ground plane 206 comprises a solid metal layer. In other embodiments, the ground plane 206 may include structures such as stripes, meshes, and lattices and may not be completely solid. The ground plane 206 may also comprise a socket 209 for the via 205 to pass through. Around the socket 209, the ground plane 206 may also include an insulating region 210 to insulate the socket 209 from the rest of the ground plane 206. In some embodiments, the ground plane may have an electrical connection to a line coming through the via, and the insulating region 210 may not be required.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 300, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 300 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 300 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 300 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 301, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 303. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 301 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 303 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 307 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 301, sidewalls 303, and the bottom surface 302. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 300 may not include a housing and the substrate 307 may include the top surface 301, sidewalls 303, and the bottom surface 302. The substrate 307 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may transmit radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 304 may be constructed on or below the top surface 3. When the power transfer system 300 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 304 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 300 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 304 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 300 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 304 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 304 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, metamaterials and composites. For example, the antenna 304 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 304 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 300 shown in FIG. 3, the antenna 304 is constructed in a shape of a dipole including a first meandered pole 309a and a second meandered pole 309b. A first power feed line (not shown) to the first meandered pole 309a may be carried by a first via 305a and a second power feed line (not shown) to the second meandered pole 309b may be carried by a second via 305b. The first power feed line may supply current to the first meandered pole 309a and the second power feed line may supply current to the second meandered pole 309b. The first meandered pole 309a includes antenna segments 310 which are disposed close to each other and the second meandered pole 309b includes antenna segments 311 also disposed close to each other. The currents flowing through the neighboring antenna segments 310, 311 may be in opposite directions. For example, if the current in a antenna segment 310b is flowing from left to right of FIG. 3, the current in each of the antenna segments 310a, 310c may be flowing from right to left. The opposite flow of the current across any number of antenna segments 310 of the power transfer system 300 results in mutual cancellation of the far field electromagnetic radiation generated by the power transfer system 300. Additionally or alternatively, the far field electromagnetic radiation generated by the antenna segments 310 of the first pole 309a may be cancelled by the electromagnetic radiation generated by antenna segments 311 of the second pole 309b. It should be appreciated that the far field cancellation may occur across any number of segments 310, 311 and/or across any number of poles 309. Therefore, there may be no leakage of power in the far field of the power transfer system 300. Such cancellation, however, may not occur in a near-field active zone of the power transfer system 300, where the transfer of power may occur.

The power transfer system 300 may include a ground plane (not shown) at or above the bottom surface. The ground plane may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The vias 305 carrying the power feed lines to the antenna may pass through the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be electrically connected to the antenna. In some embodiments, the ground plane may not be electrically connected to the antenna 304. For such implementations, an insulation area to insulate the vias 305 from the ground plane may be constructed between the vias 305 and the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 304. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 300 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 304 from or towards the top surface 301. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface.

FIG. 4 schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 400, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 400 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 400 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 400 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 401, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 103. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 401 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 403 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 407 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 401, sidewalls 403, and the bottom surface 402. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 400 may not include a housing and the substrate 407 may include the top surface 401, sidewalls 403, and the bottom surface 402. The substrate 407 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may generate radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 404 may be constructed on or below the top surface 401. When the power transfer system 400 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 404 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 400 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 404 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 400 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 404 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 404 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, and composites. For example, the antenna 404 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 404 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 400 shown in FIG. 4, the antenna 404 is constructed in a shape of a loop including loop segments 410 which are disposed close to each other. The currents flowing through the neighboring loop segments 410 may be in opposite directions. For example, if the current in a first loop segment 410a is flowing from left to right of FIG. 4, the current in a second loop segment 410b may be flowing from right to left. The opposite flow of the current results in mutual cancellation of the electromagnetic radiation the far field of the power transfer system 400. Therefore, there may be no leakage of power in the far field of the power transfer system 400. Such cancellation, however, may not occur in a near-field active zone of the power transfer system 400, where the transfer of power may occur.

The power transfer system 400 may include a ground plane (not shown) at or above the bottom surface. The ground plane may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, metamaterials, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The vias 405 carrying the power feed lines (not shown) to the antenna may pass through the ground plane. The power feed lines may provide current to the antenna 404. In some embodiments, the ground plane 106 may be electrically connected to the antenna. In some embodiments, the ground plane may not be electrically connected to the antenna 404. For such implementations, an insulation area to insulate the vias 405 from the ground plane may be constructed between the vias 305 and the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 404. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 300 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 404 from or towards the top surface 401. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface.

FIG. 5 schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 500, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 500 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 500 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 500 may be a part of or associated with a transceiver. The power transfer system 500 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 501, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 503. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 501 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 503 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 507 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 501, sidewalls 503, and the bottom surface 502. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 500 may not include a housing and the substrate 507 may include the top surface 501, sidewalls 503, and the bottom surface 502. The substrate 507 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may transmit radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 504 may be constructed on or below the top surface 501. When the power transfer system 500 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 504 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 500 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 504 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 500 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 504 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The power feed lines (not shown) to the antenna 504 may be carried by the vias 505. The power feed lines may provide current to the antenna 504. The antenna 504 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, metamaterials, and composites. For example, the antenna 504 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 504 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 500 shown in FIG. 5, the antenna 504 is constructed in a shape of concentric loops including antenna segments 510 which are disposed close to each other. As shown in FIG. 5, a single concentric loop may include two of the antenna segments 510. For example, the innermost loop may include a first antenna segment 510c to the right of an imaginary line 512 roughly dividing the loops into two halves, and a corresponding second antenna segment 510c′ to the left of the imaginary line 512. The currents flowing through the neighboring antenna segments 510 may be in opposite directions. For example, if the current in the antenna segments 510a′, 510b′, 510c′ is flowing from left to right of FIG. 5, the current in each of the antenna segments 510a, 510b, 510c may be flowing from right to left. The opposite flow of the current results in mutual cancellation of the electromagnetic radiation at the far field of the power transfer system 500. Therefore, there may be no transfer of power to the far field of the power transfer system 500. Such cancellation, however, may not occur in a near-field active zone of the power transfer system 500, where the transfer of power may occur. One ordinarily skilled in the art will appreciate the cancellation of electromagnetic radiation in the far field and absence of such cancellation in the near-field is dictated by one or more solutions of Maxwell's equations for time-varying electric and magnetic fields generated by the currents flowing in opposite directions. One ordinarily skilled in the art should further appreciate the near field active zone is defined by the presence of electromagnetic power in the immediate vicinity of the power transfer system 500.

The power transfer system 500 may include a ground plane (not shown) at or above the bottom surface. The ground plane may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The vias 505 carrying the power feed lines to the antenna may pass through the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be electrically connected to the antenna. In some embodiments, the ground plane may not be electrically connected to the antenna 504. For such implementations, an insulation area to insulate the vias 505 from the ground plane may be constructed between the vias 305 and the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 504. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 500 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 504 from or towards the top surface 501. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface.

FIG. 6 schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 600, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 600 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 600 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 600 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 601, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 603. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 601 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 603 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 607 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 601, sidewalls 603, and the bottom surface 602. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 600 may not include a housing and the substrate 607 may include the top surface 601, sidewalls 603, and the bottom surface 602. The substrate 607 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may transmit radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 604 may be constructed on or below the top surface 601. When the power transfer system 600 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 604 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 600 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 604 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 600 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 604 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 604 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, and composites. For example, the antenna 604 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 604 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 600 shown in FIG. 6, the antenna 604 is constructed in a shape of a monopole. A via 605 may carry a power feed line (not shown) to the antenna 604. The power feed line may provide current to the antenna 604.

The power transfer system 600 may include a ground plane (not shown) at or above the bottom surface. The ground plane may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The via 605 carrying the power feed line to the antenna 604 may pass through the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be electrically connected to the antenna. In some embodiments, the ground plane may not be electrically connected to the antenna 604. For such implementations, an insulation area to insulate the via 605 from the ground plane may be constructed between the via 605 and the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 604. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 600 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 604 from or towards the top surface 601. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface.

FIG. 7 schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 700, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 700 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 700 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 700 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 701, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 103. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 701 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 703 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 707 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 701, sidewalls 703, and the bottom surface 702. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 700 may not include a housing and the substrate 707 may include the top surface 701, sidewalls 703, and the bottom surface 702. The substrate 707 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may transmit radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 704 may be constructed on or below the top surface 701. When the power transfer system 700 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 704 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 700 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 704 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 700 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 704 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 704 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, and composites. For example, the antenna 704 may be made of copper or copper alloys. A via 705 may carry a power feed line (not shown) to the antenna. The power feed line may provide current to the antenna 704. The antenna 704 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 700 shown in FIG. 7, the antenna 704 is constructed in a shape of a monopole including antenna segments 710 placed close to each other. The currents flowing through the neighboring antenna segments 710 may be in opposite directions. For example, if the current in the antenna segment 710b is flowing from left to right of FIG. 7, the current each of the antenna segments 710a, 710c may be flowing from right to left. The opposite flow of the current results in mutual cancellation of the electromagnetic radiation in the far field of the power transfer system 700. Therefore, there may be no transfer of power in the far field of the power transfer system 700. Such cancellation, however, may not occur in a near-field active zone of the power transfer system 700, where the transfer of power may occur. One ordinarily skilled in the art will appreciate the cancellation of electromagnetic radiation in the far field and absence of such cancellation in the near-field is dictated by one or more solutions of Maxwell's equations for time-varying electric and magnetic fields generated by the currents flowing in opposite directions. One ordinarily skilled in the art should further appreciate the near field active zone is defined by the presence of electromagnetic power in the immediate vicinity of the power transfer system 700. The power transfer system 700 may include a ground plane (not shown) at or above the bottom surface. The ground plane may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The via 705 carrying the power feed line to the antenna 704 may pass through the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be electrically connected to the antenna. In some embodiments, the ground plane may not be electrically connected to the antenna 704. For such implementations, an insulation area to insulate the via 705 from the ground plane may be constructed between the via 705 and the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 704. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 700 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 704 from or towards the top surface 701. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface.

FIG. 8 schematically illustrates a top perspective view of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 800, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 800 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 800 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 800 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 801, a bottom surface (not shown), and sidewalls 803. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 801 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 803 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 807 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 801, sidewalls 803, and the bottom surface 802. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 800 may not include a housing and the substrate 807 may include the top surface 801, sidewalls 803, and the bottom surface 802. The substrate 807 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may transmit radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

An antenna 804 may be constructed on or below the top surface 801. When the power transfer system 800 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antenna 804 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 800 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antenna 804 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 800 may operate as a transceiver and the antenna 804 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antenna 804 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, and composites. For example, the antenna 804 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antenna 804 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 800 shown in FIG. 8, the antenna 804 is constructed as a hybrid dipoles comprising a first spiral pole 820a and a second spiral pole 820b. A first power feed line supplying current to the first spiral pole 820a may be provided through a first via 805a and a second power feed supplying current the second spiral pole 820b may be provided through a second via 805b. The antenna segments in each of the spiral poles 820 may mutually cancel the electromagnetic radiation in the far field generated by the spiral dipoles 820 thereby reducing the transfer of power to the far field. For example, the antenna segments in the first spiral pole 820a may cancel the far field electromagnetic radiation generated by each other. Additionally, or in the alternative, the far field radiation generated by one or more antenna segments of the first spiral pole 820a may be cancelled by the far field radiation generated by one or more antenna segments of the second spiral pole 820b. One ordinarily skilled in the art will appreciate the cancellation of electromagnetic radiation in the far field and absence of such cancellation in the near-field is dictated by one or more solutions of Maxwell's equations for time-varying electric and magnetic fields generated by the currents flowing in opposite directions.

The power transfer system 800 may include a ground plane (not shown) at or above the bottom surface. The ground plane may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The vias 805 carrying the power feed lines to the antenna may pass through the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may be electrically connected to the antenna. In some embodiments, the ground plane may not be electrically connected to the antenna 804. For such implementations, an insulation area to insulate the vias 805 from the ground plane may be constructed between the vias 805 and the ground plane. In some embodiments, the ground plane may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antenna 804. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 800 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antenna 804 from or towards the top surface 801. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface.

The hybrid antenna 804 may be required for wideband and/or multiband designs. For example, a non-hybrid structure may be highly efficient at a first frequency and at a first distance between the transmitter and the receiver, but may be at inefficient other frequencies and distances. Incorporating more complex structure such as a hybrid antenna 80 may allow for higher efficiencies along a range of frequencies and distances.

FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B schematically illustrate a top perspective view and a side perspective view respectively of an exemplary near-field power transfer system 900, according to an embodiment of the disclosure. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 900 may be a part of or associated with a power transmitter. In other embodiments, the power transfer system 100 may be a part of or associated with a power receiver. The power transfer system 900 may comprise a housing defined by a top surface 901, a bottom surface 902, and sidewalls 903. In some embodiments, the housing may be constructed of a material creating minimal obstructions for electromagnetic waves to pass through. In other embodiments, different portions of the housing may be constructed with materials having different electromagnetic properties such as permeability and permittivity. For example, the top surface 901 may allow electromagnetic waves to pass through with minimal obstruction while the sidewalls 903 may obstruct electromagnetic waves by attenuation, absorption, reflection, or other techniques known in the art.

A substrate 907 may be disposed within a space defined between the top surface 901, sidewalls 903, and the bottom surface 902. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 900 may not include a housing and the substrate 907 may include the top surface 901, sidewalls 903, and the bottom surface 902. The substrate 907 may comprise any material capable of insulating, reflecting, absorbing, or otherwise housing electrical lines conducting current, such as metamaterials. The metamaterials may be a broad class of synthetic materials that are engineered to yield desirable magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity. At least one of the magnetic permeability and electrical permittivity may be based upon power-transfer requirements, and/or compliance constraints for government regulations. The metamaterials disclosed herein may receive radiation or may transmit radiation, and may act as thin reflectors.

The power transfer system may include hierarchical antennas 904 that may be constructed on or below the top surface 901. When the power transfer system 900 is a part of or associated with a power transmitter, the antennas 904 may be used for transmitting electromagnetic waves. Alternatively, when the power transfer system 900 is a part of or associated with a power receiver, the antennas 904 may be used for receiving electromagnetic waves. In some embodiments, the power transfer system 900 may operate as a transceiver and the antennas 904 may both transmit and receive electromagnetic waves. The antennas 904 may be constructed from materials such as metals, alloys, and composites. For example, the antennas 904 may be made of copper or copper alloys. The antennas 904 may be constructed to have different shapes based on the power transfer requirements. In the exemplary system 900 shown in FIG. 9A and FIG. 9B, the antennas 104 are constructed in a hierarchical spiral structure with a level_zero hierarchical antenna 904a and a level_one hierarchical antenna 904b. Each of the hierarchical antennas 904 may include antenna segments, wherein antenna segments have currents flowing in the opposite directions to cancel out the far field radiations. For example, the antenna segments in the level_zero hierarchical antenna 904a may cancel the far field electromagnetic radiation generated by each other. Additionally, or in the alternative, the far field radiation generated by one or more antenna segments of the level_zero hierarchical antenna 904a may be cancelled by the far field radiation generated by one or more antenna segments of the level_one hierarchical antenna 904b. A power feed line (not shown) to the antennas is carried through a via 905. The power feed line may supply current to the antenna 904.

The power transfer system 900 may include a ground plane 906 at or above the bottom surface 902. The ground plane 906 may be formed by materials such as metal, alloys, and composites. In an embodiment, the ground plane 906 may be formed by copper or a copper alloy. In some embodiments, the ground plane 906 may be constructed of a solid sheet of material. In other embodiments, the ground plane 906 may be constructed using material strips arranged in shapes such as loops, spirals, and meshes. The via 905 carrying a power feed line to the antenna may pass through the ground plane 906. In some embodiments, the ground plane 906 may be electrically connected to one or more of the antennas 904. In some embodiments, the ground plane 906 may not be electrically connected to the antennas 904. For such implementations, an insulation area 908 to insulate the via 905 from the ground plane 906 may be constructed between the via 905 and the ground plane 906. In some embodiments, the ground plane 906 may act as a reflector of the electromagnetic waves generated by the antennas 904. In other words, the ground plane may not allow electromagnetic transmission beyond the bottom surface of the power transfer system 900 by cancelling and/or reflecting the transmission image formed beyond the bottom surface. Reflecting the electromagnetic waves by the ground plane may reinforce the electromagnetic waves transmitted by the antennas 904 from or towards the top surface 901. Therefore, there may be no leakage of electromagnetic power from the bottom surface 902. In some embodiments, there may be multiple ground planes, with a ground plane for each of the hierarchical antennas 904. In some embodiments, the hierarchical antennas have different power feed lines carried through multiple vias.

The hierarchical antennas 904 may be required for wideband and/or multiband designs. For example, a non-hierarchical structure may be highly efficient at a first frequency and at a first distance between the transmitter and the receiver, but may be inefficient at other frequencies and distances. Incorporating more complex structures, such as hierarchical antennas 904, may allow for higher efficiencies along a range of frequencies and distances.

The foregoing method descriptions and the process flow diagrams are provided merely as illustrative examples and are not intended to require or imply that the steps of the various embodiments must be performed in the order presented. The steps in the foregoing embodiments may be performed in any order. Words such as “then,” “next,” etc. are not intended to limit the order of the steps; these words are simply used to guide the reader through the description of the methods. Although process flow diagrams may describe the operations as a sequential process, many of the operations can be performed in parallel or concurrently. In addition, the order of the operations may be re-arranged. A process may correspond to a method, a function, a procedure, a subroutine, a subprogram, and the like. When a process corresponds to a function, the process termination may correspond to a return of the function to a calling function or a main function.

The preceding description of the disclosed embodiments is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make or use the embodiments described herein and variations thereof. Various modifications to these embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the generic principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter disclosed herein. Thus, the present disclosure is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown herein but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the following claims and the principles and novel features disclosed herein.

While various aspects and embodiments have been disclosed, other aspects and embodiments are contemplated. The various aspects and embodiments disclosed are for purposes of illustration and are not intended to be limiting, with the true scope and spirit being indicated by the following claims.

Claims

1. A near-field radio frequency (RF) power transfer system, comprising:

a first antenna element disposed on or below a first surface of a substrate and configured to carry a first current in a first direction during a first time period to generate a first RF radiation;
a second antenna element disposed on or below the first surface of the substrate and configured to carry a second current in a second direction opposite to the first direction during the first time period to generate a second RF radiation such that the far-field portion of the second RF radiation substantially cancels the far-field portion of the first RF radiation; and
a ground plane disposed on or below a second surface of the substrate, wherein the second surface is opposite to the first surface.

2. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, further comprising:

a via passing through the ground plane, wherein the via contains a power feed line configured to supply the first and the second currents.

3. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, further comprising:

a first via passing through the ground plane, wherein the first via contains a first power feed line configured to supply the first current; and
a second via passing through the ground, wherein the second via contains a second power feed line configured to supply the second current.

4. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are segments of a spiral antenna.

5. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first antenna element is a segment of a first pole of a dipole antenna, and the second antenna element is a segment of a second pole of the dipole antenna.

6. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are segments of a loop antenna.

7. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are segments of a loop antenna comprising concentric loops.

8. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are segments of a monopole antenna.

9. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are segments of a hybrid dipole antenna comprising two spiral poles.

10. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are segments of hierarchical spiral antenna.

11. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the ground plane is constructed of a solid metal sheet of copper or a copper alloy.

12. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the ground plane is constructed of metal strips arranged in shapes selected from the group consisting of a loop, a spiral, and a mesh.

13. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the first and second antenna elements are constructed of copper or a copper alloy.

14. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the far-field portion of the first RF radiation cancels out the far-field portion of a second RF radiation.

15. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the ground plane is configured to reflect at least a portion of the RF radiation generated by the first and second antenna elements.

16. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the ground plane is configured to cancel at least a portion of the RF radiation generated by the first and second antenna elements.

17. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the power transfer system is configured as a power receiver.

18. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the power transfer system is configured as a power transmitter.

19. The near-field RF power transfer system of claim 1, wherein the substrate comprises a metamaterial of a predetermined magnetic permeability or electrical permittivity.

20. A method of near-field RF power transfer, the method comprising:

supplying, through one or more vias through a ground plane, a first current to a first antenna element such that the first antenna generates a first RF radiation and a second current to a second antenna element such that the second antenna generates a second RF radiation,
wherein the first current is in a first direction and the second current is in a second direction opposite to the first direction such that the far-field portion of the second RF radiation substantially cancels the far field portion of the first RF radiation,
wherein the first and second antenna elements are disposed on or below a first surface of a substrate, and
wherein the ground plane is disposed on or below a second surface of the substrate opposite to the first surface.

Patent History

Publication number: 20170187422
Type: Application
Filed: Sep 19, 2016
Publication Date: Jun 29, 2017
Inventors: Alister HOSSEINI (Long Beach, CA), Michael A. LEABMAN (San Ramon, CA)
Application Number: 15/269,729

Classifications

International Classification: H04B 5/00 (20060101); H02J 50/27 (20060101); H02J 50/23 (20060101);